Hi my name is Nicole Murray. I’m 37 years old. I started to ride bicycles as a child, I think as most people do. My mom and aunt were really avid cyclists. They would do the MS 150 every year, and so on some other training rides they would take the kids along for the last (in my mind it was 50 miles but in reality it was probably) five because we were children. Actually I always thought that was cool, they got to wear their special spandex, and had special bikes and they had all these bike friends.
Then puberty hit and I hated the world and everything and I stopped playing soccer and I stopped riding my bike and I didn’t really pick it up again until I think I was 32 maybe. I’m a paramedic and we had done a medical standby at a triathlon and I saw all of these fast, fit, fun-looking people riding their bikes- super fast, super fancy bikes- and I thought, you know I used to ride a bike as a kid. I should ride a bike.
The first year, year and a half I started to ride my bike again I took the BikeWalkKC Confident City Cycling, and Maggie was the instructor and she showed up in like a dress and some heels- Maggie always looks very stylish- and I thought man, if that lady can ride a bike in a dress and heels, then surely I can ride a bike in some tennis shoes and cycling shorts. It [the class] just kind of taught you the rules of the road, your responsibility as a cyclist and just how to feel confident, because what sometimes causes cycling accidents is not necessarily drivers, it’s the cyclist’s anxiety and the overreaction and the panic. So that was nice, and then just doing it.
Showing up for group rides where you knew you were safer because there is protection in people, so the more people there are the more likely people will see you on the road. So just in the group rides I started to feel more confident and that really kind of helped me. So now I don’t care where we are, I don’t care who I’m with or if I’m by myself, I’ll ride my bike, it’s fine. You don’t have to be fit, you don’t have to be young, you don’t have to have the money for a fancy bike: if you want to ride a beater from the 80’s and go three miles, you’re a cyclist. You don’t have to have the spandex, you don’t have to have the padded shorts, although they do help, but you don’t have to have it. You don’t have to have fancy stuff. You just have to have fun!